The Influence of Height on Academic Outcomes

Document Type


Journal/Book Title/Conference

Annual Meeting of the Institute for Educational Sciences


University of Chicago

Publication Date



This paper examines whether the height premium for academic outcomes is driven by unequal opportunities for tall individuals. Using data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Adolescent Health, this paper shows that taller individuals typically earn higher grades and attain more schooling, but the associations are not uniform across school size. Height is only associated with better outcomes for students attending large schools and these improvements are concentrated among males. Data suggest that height contributes more to sports participation and school satisfaction in large schools where resources are more scarce. Thus, differential opportunities or treatment across height in large schools may drive the performance differences.